3 Simple Things That Will Make You Happier
Hugh van Cuylenburg may have discovered the secret to happiness.
In 2008, he spent time volunteering in India. The locals didn’t have much. Things we take for granted like running water, electricity, and beds were unheard of in the community.
And yet, the people over there were some of the happiest Hugh had ever met. How could one community be so joyful when they have so little?
Determined to learn the reason for their great mental health, Hugh spent an extra few months among the community and the following years studying what he’d discovered.
Hugh found that there were 3 main things the community did. Even the children were unconsciously putting these things into practice. These are things you can start applying to your life today.
Don’t take anything for granted. Stop and reflect on what you have, and what has gone well for you. Recognise that you’re thankful for these things. An easy way to put this into practice is by writing down 3 things you are thankful for everyday.
After 21 days of doing this, you’ll start to rewire your brain to look for the positives in the world.
One of the boys Hugh met in India wore shoes that no longer fit him. They were torn, and his toes stuck out. But everyday he expressed his gratitude, because not all children had shoes of their own.
This is putting yourself in someone’s shoes. You celebrate their victories with them, you are happy for their happiness. You are sad when they are sad, and you listen to their pain. When you practice empathy, you become a kinder person. And acts of kindness make you feel good, because it releases Oxytocin into your system.
The present is the only time you are truly alive. Mindfulness is the act of being in the present moment, without judgement, and not letting your thoughts wander to the past or the present.
Phones and social media make it hard to practice mindfulness. When you simply scroll through Facebook, your brain is taking in so much so information that it is difficult to be in the present moment. Current events, appointments, what other people are doing, celebrities, there’s just so much to distract you.
Take a moment to put down your phone. Focus on your surroundings, close your eyes and breathe deeply.
Hugh couldn’t keep all his discoveries to himself. He started a program called The Resilience Project, which educates schools, professional sports teams, and corperate organisations about practical mental health strategies. He speaks all around Australia, and lives have been changed from his message.
Video Credit: Destination Happiness
15/09/2018 / Rachel Hayley